From 15 years of using recreation and sports in the treatment of hyperactive children, it is my impression that certain activities are much better than others. Baseball, for a negative example, can be a nightmare for these children because of its slow pace and the need for well-developed motor skills and hand-eye coordination skills. However, other activities help children learn to enjoy athletics and, in fact, often awaken in them a passion for sports.
Soccer is one of the most attractive sports for young children with attention deficit disorder. Currently it is the second largest sport for children in the United States, quite remarkable for a country without a soccer tradition. For young hyperactive children it is often ideal because it entails ample participation for all, lots of running, and kicking a relatively large ball. Position play is not terribly important at younger age levels, and the natural impulsiveness of hyperactive children does not interfere with their performance. In addition, since most coaches of youngsters in this sport are parents who do not particularly know the nuances of soccer, they usually allow the children to go out and have a good time.
Soccer is a good building block for other sports because it enhances speed, endurance, and leg strength, and is very safe. In addition, the hyperactive child does not look that much different from other kids on the field. Most communities have summer and fall soccer programs, and warmer climates provide for soccer year-round. Older children may find soccer enjoyable if they can be coached, i.e., if they listen well, follow instructions, and learn to play positions.